A Pennsylvania man got so drunk that he passed out and had no idea two of his young children wandered off, culminating in his toddler son drowning in a neighbor’s pool, police say.
On Tuesday, David Gammon, 35, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the welfare of children in the drowning death of 2-year-old Anakin Gammon in a swimming pool at a home in Masury, Ohio, on Sept. 10., WFMJ reported. The Gammon family lives in Sharon, Pa., which is right next to the state’s border with Ohio.
While a police news release did not say why they charged Gammon, a criminal complaint filed in district court reveals that a neighbor found the father sleeping on the lawn in his backyard after one of his kids came over to the neighbor’s home. The child reportedly told the neighbor that he could neither wake his father nor find two of his siblings.
When the neighbor was finally able to arouse Gammon from his slumber, the man confused the neighbor’s two children for his own, according to the police report. But the two kids were still nowhere to be found.
The missing children, 2-year-old Anakin and a 5-year-old with special needs, had wandered to another house. The 5-year-old was found safe, playing outside the home, but Anakin’s body was found in the swimming pool. Emergency responders attempted to revive him, but he was pronounced dead at a hospital. Investigators ruled the death a drowning and decided to file charges against Gammon.
Police said Gammon told them he had been “sipping” a Four Loko malt liquor beverage and watching football on the day of the incident, WKBN 27 reported. He said he had been playing with the kids outside when he laid down in the grass to rest, after which he supposed he dozed off, according to the police report. According to WFMJ, Gammon told authorities that he put his drink in the refrigerator before he took the children outside.
The neighbor who reportedly roused Gammon said he smelled of alcohol, and investigators estimated that Gammon had left his children unsupervised a minimum of a half-hour, WKBN reported.
“There is probable cause that David Gammon was reckless in consuming enough alcohol, while caring for his children, that he lost consciousness allowing them to wander from the property” police said in their report.
Gammon remains in jail on a $150,000 bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 17.